Udall briefed on Middle East threat, still opposes NSA phone data work

Threats against American interests in the Middle East haven’t altered Sen. Mark Udall’s opposition to building databases around Americans’ telephone calls.

Udall, a Colorado Democrat who has worked with Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., to raise issues about the National Security Agency’s collection of Americans’ telephone calls, was recently briefed about the intelligence that led the Obama administration to close 19 diplomatic posts on Sunday.

Udall and Wyden are members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and both began speaking more freely about the activities of the NSA and other agencies after former NSA contractor Edward Snowden made secret information about the programs public.

Udall’s office emphasized that there is growing support in Congress and the public for narrowing the focus of the NSA’s collection of Americans’ phone records.

A bill that would have cut off funding for the NSA was narrowly defeated last month. It garnered the support of all of Colorado’s members of the House.

Udall “does not believe protecting our national security and strengthening Americans’ constitutional privacy rights is a zero-sum game,” his office said.


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